New Book / New Stories 

Hello, 

I hope everyone is doing good. I’ve got some friends riding  out Hurricane Matthew in Florida, but it looks like they’re gonna be okay. Was worried about one friend in particular who lives in a punk house that is collapsing anyways on a blue sky day. Anyways, looks like Florida will keep on Florida-ing. Yuss! Punk House will live on. 

Heard some news last week. Civil Coping Mechnanisms (CCM) will be putting out my memoir/essay collection called Same Clothes As Yeaterday in June 2017. Excited about that. 

Also, today at Hobart, I have two pieces of flash, “Red Teeth” and “Do Ya Wanna Dance?” They’re here

It’s October and most everybody is happy that it’s hooded sweatshirt weather.  I’ve had some writing fall through the cracks lately and wanted to share a list here if you are in the mood. 

  •  Hobart published two short stories from my collection, coming in November (from Disorder Press) called Dustbunny City , read them here 
  • Hobart also ran a story of mine called Boss, about a man struggling with the ghost of Andre the Giant, read Boss here 
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My Story “Boss” Published at Hobart 

Life is such a maze. It’s easy to get lost in the maze but most of the time you can get through the worst part of the maze by working together with other people passing through the maze. I wrote this story, Boss, thinking about the many people I’ve known in my life who have temporally gotten lost, depressed, pained, suicidal … I believe that people can actually help each other, and make a difference in each other’s life. Check in on your friends and family and neighbors. Make sure everyone is feeing good and if they aren’t, do what you can to help them along through the maze. 

Thank you!

Here’s my story Boss at Hobart 

Essay About Dogs

Conspiracists think that Hilary Clinton had a body double yesterday that went around and did double double stuff, that’s cool. I would like a body double for myself also. To do body double stuff. Like work in the plastic plant where I am working today. Where all the plastic powder looks like cocaine and every new person you work with at the plastic factory who has never seen the plastic powder in the plastic factory makes the joke, “Ha! Looks like cocaine!”

I’m on break right now at work but wanted to share an essay with you … Rae and I are watching my parent’s dogs. We are dog parents right now, but luckily will be free of them by the time it’s time to pay for dog college or dog weddings. I wrote about the experience for Real Pants, as well as some thoughts on Pumpkin Spice bringing about the end times of earth, the novel Lonesome Dove, and grapes.

Check out the essay here 

An essay about working in a nuclear power plant

Hello Everybunny, 
I have been writing an essay almost every week about the intersection between creativity and working a labor intensive job away from the computer desk. The essays are all collected here . Thanks to Adam Robinson and Amy McDaniels for the support at their site, Real Pants and continuing to host the essay series. 

This week’s essay is called Nuclear and it is about what it is like to do temporary outage work at a nuclear power plant. No two nuclear outages are the same, and my experience there is probably not a common one, but, I shared my story here if you are interested. 

Thank you 

All The Work Safe Or Die Trying Essays So Far

Hi Everybody, 

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been writing an essay a week for Real Pants. The essays are about creativity and working for a living. I work heavy construction in an oil refinery and while I’m there, I write on my cellphone on my breaks. A few of my novels were written that way, most of my stories and poems were written that way. Here’s a list of all the essays so far. I’m really enjoying this project and not sure how long it’s going to keep going, but 22 pieces into it, I’m still having a ball. 

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing these links with people who you think could gain anything from them. Sometimes we all get stuck in our creative efforts. I hope these essays help some people out of a creative jam they have found themselves in. 

Much love, 
Bud 

Work Safe Or Die Trying Column at Real Pants 

New short “Coral Reef” and an Interview at Moonsick 

Today I have a story called Coral Reef at Moonsick Magazine. The story is about two peeps driving around their hometown on acid and contemplating cutting off the head of the town’s mascot, a plaster brontosaurus. It’s also about coming to terms with one of your exes fucking a police officer. “But you used to be so punk rock …”Read Coral Reef here

I also talked to the editor of Moonsick, Gwen Beatty about my writing, working heavy construction (how we get nicknames on the jobsite) how I edit my novels … It was a good conversation, Gwen is a great writer and editor. I really liked her book, Kill Us On The Way Home out from Passenger Side Books … Take a look at our conversation here 

Maybe this is all too much stuff for one post, but I also wanted to share a new essay for Real Pants called “On The Beach” about swimming, getting sunburnt, even the time that I was working at this fancy house on the ocean and the homeowners insisted on giving us chocolate cake and milk during a heat wave. Here is the essay 

Thank you for reading this stuff. Drop me a line sometime. 
Bud 

New Story “The Paralyzer” published at Third Point 

Couple updates :Last night was a good night. I got a haircut so I don’t look like this anymore. It was a nice haircut because as soon as I waked in the place, they poured me a bourbon and handed it over with a smile. 

Around the corner from the barber shop is a bar that has classic arcade machines and beer. I sunk a couple dollars into The Simpsons game, and remembered when I was a kid and used to play that machine at the Seaside Boardwalk. 

Speaking of that, I’ve got a story called The Paralyzer all about the boardwalk, a water park, some kids having fun/getting distracted while their world gets further fucked up. 

The story just got published at Third Point Press, and the editor Tyler Goff Barton really did a nice job on the the edits. Thanks to him. And thanks to you. 

Check out The Paralyzer her

Troll Dolls and Scarecrows 


For Real Pants I wrote about working at a farm market, dealing with a co-worker who wouldn’t shut up about D&D, cutting firewood, making Christmas wreaths, organizing troll dolls and beanie babies out there in the seasonal trailer, where hope goes to die.

Check it out here

Ch-Ch-Changes

 

1

 

The other night, the king came back from the dead and he was even dragging his throne with him up from the pit in the earth where he’d been killed by his enemies over three thousand years ago.
He put his crown back on what was left of his skull and looked out on his kingdom. Which was gone.
The kingdom had been replaced by a residential neighborhood. A quiet suburban street. The castle that’d once stood there, had long been ruined, demolished, all the stones carted away. Forgotten.
A blue light from a TV flickered in the window of a modest sleeping house. Maybe sorcery.
He gazed at driveways with cars in them. At Cats in the Windows. Dogs unseen, and unfazed by threat, slept at the foot of this bed and that bed.
Lawn sprinklers ticked in the moonlight.
The king gazed up at the humming street lights, and the power lines that swooped down. A water tower standing in the distance looked like a sleeping monster. The king was quiet not to wake it.
He dragged his throne down the center of the street, left it on someone’s front lawn, right beside a realty sign with a woman’s smiling face and fingers criss crossed under a chin, neck wrapped in pearls.
He went back down into his pit in the earth to find his ceremonial sword and his personal guard, who’d also been slaughtered.

 

2

The other morning I drove into town to hit the bank and the library to return a magazine. But when I got to Western Avenue, I had to slam on the brakes. The road ended abruptly, intersected by a wide channel of water.
This was new.
I got out of the car and looked across the water but could only see a block wall.
A voice from the top of the wall yelled, “Be gone!”
“What’s happened?”
“I have no idea what’s happened. I can only tell you what will happen if you don’t turn around.”
“And what’s that?”
An arrow sailed down and stuck in the windshield of my Hyundai Elantra.

I got in my car and drove the long way, taking a country road. The arrow had destroyed the rear view mirror and I was worried about getting a ticket from the cops, but I saw no cops.
Usually there’s at least one cruiser sitting under the train bridge by the new luxury condominiums, but there was no cop car there.
The woods looked terrible. Thinning out. The last time I’d driven through here, the woods had been thick with leaves and trunks and singing birds. Something else, strange, the water tower with its bright colorful eagle painted on it for our town’s high school football team was gone. I’d driven past that water tower most of my life, now there was just a void there. Only sky.

When I took Deer Run Road, hoping to get into town that way, I was annoyed to again hit a wide channel of water. The drawbridge was up. Thick planked and raised with chains so big they looked like plastic props someone would wear for Halloween.
At least this way had a drawbridge. Beyond the drawbridge was another block wall and beyond that, I thought I could make out the peaks of a castle.

A woman in a suit of armor stood across the water, some kind of guard at that side of the drawbridge.
“Hello!” I said, “What’s going on here?”
“Nothing is going on here,” she said. “Unless you have business for it to be more than nothing.”
“I’m trying to get to the bank before noon.”
“Bank? Forget the bank. Go back to your farm.”
“I don’t live on a farm.”
“You do now. Everyone is a farmer who lives outside the castle walls.”
“I’m an electrical engineer. That’s how I make my money.”
“Forget money!” She yelled, “You’ll give us 3/4 of what crops you raise or we’ll burn your farm down and kill your family.”
“I don’t have a family.”
“Well you better hurry up and make one quick to help you with a bountiful harvest.”
“I don’t plan on any kind of harvest.”
“We won’t protect you from the hordes if you don’t provide a bountiful harvest!”
“Hordes?”
“We’ll open the gates.”
“Oh, you know what! Fuck you! Lower the drawbridge, I’m coming across.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you correctly,” she said. “I want to make sure. What did you just say?”
“FUCK! YOU!”
A large hunk of stone sailed over the wall. It crashed down next to my Hyundai as I sped backwards.

I drove through town the way I’d come.
The thinning woods were completely gone now. The land was flat without even a tree stump.
I drove down the street where I lived and found my house gone too. My entire development was a flat field.
I could barely pass in my car, the road was too muddy.
My neighbor George was pushing a cart towards me, I stopped and rolled down the window.
“What are you doing?”
“You didn’t hear? Oh god, bunch of bullshit. This morning this big shot king came up from a cursed hole in the ground and reclaimed this whole area as his rightful realm.”
“I saw the moat and the drawbridge. They tried to crush me with a cannonball … Oh wait, a cannonball would be different. This was a catapult.”
“Catapult. Yeah that got those,” George said. “And crazy guys on horses, in spades. Least you still got your car. It’ll help you plow your field.”
“I’m not plowing a field!”
“They’ll kill ya, dude. They just put Carl and Kathy’s heads on pikes.” he pointed at where Kathy and Carl’s blue Cape Cod had stood.
“Come on, hop in the car, let’s get out of here.”
George declined the ride, said, “You don’t want to get beyond the safety of the walls. The hordes are worse than the king’s men.”
“Says who?”
“The King, whatever his name is.”

I put the peddle to the floor and burst up the muddy road.
Men on horseback stood in a line ahead. Arrows smacked against the front of my car. I slowed when I saw the way out of town didn’t exist any more. A tall stone wall was there instead. I stopped completely when I saw the battering ram coming towards me, and the horses I’d have to kill with my Hyundai for no reason.
My car was swarmed with suits of armor and clanking swords and hammers and an ax that went through the hood and became lodged in the engine itself.

 

3

Yesterday I started to hear screams from outside the walls of my prison cell. The guard who had been taunting me and talking about how vicious my execution would soon be was suddenly gone from the chamber outside of my cell.
The sun fell and the room became dark.
“Hello?”
My voice was only an echo that bounced down the stone hallway. But then there was a light. A torch, and a woman in a hooded robe carrying the torch.
When she got closer, and lowered the hood, I saw it was Louise, the manager from the food store across the street from the dry cleaner.
She had keys in her hand, but none of them fit the lock.
“We’ve got to get out of here,” she said. “I think we might be the only normal people left …”
“That’s beat.”
Still another key didn’t work. The lock rattled but didn’t pop.

“I know a place we’ll be safe,” she said. “I’ll take you there.” 
“What’s all the screaming?” I asked. 
“People being eaten …”
“Eaten by what?”
She tried another key. That one didn’t fit either. “Ughh, by—“
There was something running up behind her in the hallway. It didn’t take long. It bit in and dragged her down to the ground.
A dinosaur.
More of them came into the hallway. They ripped Louise apart and ate her. I was weeping and cowering in the corner of my cell as they pounded the bars trying to get in at me. But I was happy that the bars were there and that I was safe.

4

The screams have stopped. When I woke up this morning, I could see through the wall in a spot, it was eroding away. There was now a small window, created by chance.
Outside, I saw piles of feather-covered dinosaurs face down in the mud.
Or belly up, sizzling in the sun.
The bars to my cell were rusted out so thin, I was able to spread them with my hands. I walked out of the crumbling castle just as it collapsed into dust and absorbed back into the wet sloppy ground.
I walked to a fallen dinosaur and saw it was being consumed from the inside out. Bacteria.
In the distance, I could see a single tree.
I walked towards the tree.
I wondered what I could create. Gasoline is made from oil but how? Electricity is made by causing a turbine to spin. But how do you make a turbine? And what is alternate current or direct current other than magic right now? I have seen boy scouts make fire with a stick or a piece of flint in a Youtube video but there is no wifi any longer and I can’t access those Youtube videos.
Underneath the tree, I found the throne, I found the crown. 
I kept walking.
Ahead in the distance, trees are pushing up out of the slop, rising like a time lapse video of the moon coming up from seemingly nothing.
My Air Jordans are slick with primordial ooze. 

New Column at Real Pants / Stories in Wigleaf

Crazy day today. It’s really cold and I have to walk to the bank and get a notary public to witness me sign some documents. Also have to get some money out of the ATM machine to buy parts to fix my washing machine. Just a swamped day of coldness and ATM machines and bank notary bullshit. 

It’s Tuesday and I have off of work today. I just sent a new novel manuscript to an agency that wanted to read more of my work. I hope they don’t print out the whole document just to feed it to a goat, that would be wasteful. And printer ink is expensive. 

So here is some straight dope, my weekly column, Work Safe Or Die trying premiers today on the lit site Real Pants. I’ll be putting up an essay every Tuesday about working heavy construction and finding time for creative writing. It’ll be a mash up of things from my life and things I want to talk about in the pursuit of DIY-Make-It-Happen-Art-Adventures. You can follow along at Real Pants (the digital online community attached to the press Publishing Genius) by clicking here 


Thanks to Adam Robinson
for helping the column along in this weird world. 


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Also, Wigleaf, my favorite website for short fiction has two of my stories “Three Kids” and “Double Bird” on their site. They were posted on Saturday so here I am posting about them again on Tuesday. I’m insufferable.  

Check them out here, as well as a postcard from a nuclear power plant that I wrote you. 

 


 

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I have a story called “Pentagram” recorded on the People Holding podcast. It’s a fun podcast with a lot of bizarre-ity. Check it out the new Podcast here Thanks to the editor, Morgan Beatty for kicking this into high hear. 


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The site Largehearted Boy will feature a playlist for my novel F 250, as a Book Notes, look for that this week here


Cool as fuck poster

AND … This Thursday night will be the inaugural launch of a new event series in Brooklyn called COOL AS FUCK. I’ll be co-hosting it with Bill Lessard at Pete’s Candy Store and I hope you’ll come out and see the readings/performances and then later, check out our podcast that will launch shortly … here is the Facebook event 

Thanks for sticking with me and thank you for all the shouts and hangouts.

Love,
Bud